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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 00:00 GMT
Over-60s 'too young' to retire
Workers on a re-employ programme
Retraining employees can help keep them working longer
The number of over-60s continuing to work will double in the next two decades as people increasingly feel too young to retire, a report says.

More than one in five workers will be working into their 60s by 2020 - double the current figure - it was predicted.

A survey of 1,200 people for City and Guilds found that a third were planning to postpone retirement.

But one in four of those expecting to work longer feared state pensions would be scrapped by the time they retired.

Positive reasons

A further one in six believed they would be forced to stay in their job longer.

There is a lot more that can be done, both to support older workers and make the most of their skills and experience
City and Guilds

But one in five said they wanted to carry on working for positive reasons - because they would feel too young to quit work.

Most of those polled said employers were ageist and one in five believed older people did not have good access to training.

The director general of City and Guilds, Chris Humphries, said that employers were beginning to realise the benefits of an older workforce.

"But there is a lot more that can be done, both to support older workers and make the most of their skills and experience," he added.

"Introducing changes such as flexible working and mentor roles for older people can benefit businesses and staff.

"At the same time, employees can also help themselves to stay employable by updating their skills and realising that one is never too old to seek career advice."

Elizabeth Redpath, 63, from London, works as a nurse at St Thomas' A&E and in intensive care at Kingston Hospital.

She says she definitely feels too young to quit work.

"It's nice to work and it's a huge privilege, and it gives me an incentive to get out of the house each morning," she told BBC News.

She said the key to happiness for older people at work was to blend in with the younger workforce.

"It's a two-fold situation. You have to work with people, you can't say 'oh the young today' and so on, you've got to mellow with them. You have to have dignity in yourself.

"But there are some who think they should be given work but don't ingratiate themselves with those they work with."

"I am fortunate because I love the people I work with and we appear to get on very well together."

Mrs Redpath said she could not see herself giving up work at 65.

"My mother is still teaching yoga at 92, so that means I've got another 30 years left," she said.

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